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Why Candidate Profiles Are Essential to Recruiting

We’ve all seen a movie where the hero is tasked with finding a “thing” before time runs out and something awful happens. Except, he has no idea what he’s looking for, or where to look. Without a completed candidate profile, you may feel as hopeless as our hero when you need to find the ideal candidate for your company. Where do you look? Who are you looking for?


It isn’t enough to write a great job description and hope that will attract the ideal candidate. We’ve often heard companies say, “I’ll know them when I see them.” Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. Creating ideal candidate profiles is like giving yourself a map to find buried treasure. Otherwise you’re just wandering around.

Candidate Profile Defined

A job description defines the job, while a candidate profile describes the person most able to do it. It allows you to differentiate between what is essential and what is desirable. It’s a hiring blueprint for the candidate’s behavioral and personality traits, in addition to their soft skills like communication, work ethic, attitude, and values.

Here’s the start of an ideal sales candidate profile. Click here to see the entire profile below.


If you viewed the entire sales profile above, you probably noticed is wasn’t a couple of sentences. It’s a 3-4 page document that requires thoughtful research and more than a coffee break to complete. But it’s worth it. Here’s why…

Where Your Hard Work Pays Off

Read through your candidate profile several times. Get a sense of who the ideal person is. Now ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know anyone who would be perfect for this position?
  • If so, what’s their background? Job? Career path? Family?
  • Are they male or female? Age? Income? Location?
  • Demeanor? Communication preferences?
  • What’s their primary goal? Secondary goal?
  • Primary challenge? Secondary challenge?
  • What’s a real quote from this person?
  • Common objection they would have to the job you’re offering?

You can see the ideal candidate in your mind, because they already exist. Suddenly you get a sense of who you’re looking for and where they would hang out locally or on the internet. What LinkedIn groups or organizations is this person part of? Once you can connect a real person to your candidate profile, other people may come to mind that would also be a great fit. You may find that those people have additional qualities that you hadn’t considered, but are essential to the job.

Ideal candidate profiles bring your job descriptions to life. They tell you exactly where to look to find the people you need to grow your business.

You may want to check out this blog post:

How Do You Treat the Candidates You Don’t Hire?

Should you hire on your own or work with a professional recruiter? Download our ebook below and find out.

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